Disinformation, misinformation; misuse of same…

Dear Editor

Disinformation, misinformation; misuse of same… does nothing to help our community pull together during this sad, but necessary transition of our ability to provide care of all phases to our aging community members. I speak of the ongoing controversy surrounding NVH in North Okanogan County. And, I say community because NVH is a part of our voting district!

I did attend the first meeting of the “Concerned Citizens Committee,” but found that I did not feel as some of those in attendance do. As this controversy continues to grow weekly in our newspaper I felt the need to respond. Mistakes have been made on both sides of this issue. Communication most of all! NVH needs to keep the public informed better and we as community members must be more involved. Leaders need input to effectively lead.

So despite the disputes at hand, it must be said that this hospital does a lot of good for our community and it is a growing business that has to adjust to the financial numbers that present themselves. The challenges for our rural hospital to stay “current” are huge! Technology costs alone to stay ‚”current” are driving the numbers even higher. One reason the hospital had to rebuild was to “stay current!” This involves all the nice new procedures that we all want when our health is concerned.

And that was the bigger issue of the Oroville Clinic closure. The costs of keeping it open became too much. Many patients who were being seen could not pay for services provided.

You attack new programs that have been put in place, i.e. the Dripline and the VA clinic. These programs will support themselves in the future and will also create informal gathering areas where many topics of “communication” take shape. I have even heard of complaints concerning our Veterans clinic not making money. That is true, it wasn’t! We now have about 540 enrolled veterans and the numbers are turning to the good. It takes awhile to make all that happen, especially when dealing with the federal government. Do you know how long it takes to “vet” (clearance) a doctor to be a VA Doc? Its daunting. This rural area isn’t the biggest draw for doctors either.

It appears to me that some of the protesters are perhaps just disgruntled ex-

employees voicing their anger, given the chance! There may even be some in that group that don’t want the responsibility of caring for their own family members financially.

It is obvious that much of our community does not understand hospital reimbursement and has not taken the time until now to find out how it all works.

I read in a past letter in the Gazette-Tribune that “someone in the know” stated to a Tonasket businessman that the hospital was to receive a “payment” of some sort to cover the costs of the AL and it would be in the black this year (2013). Whoever started that rumor, please step forward with the data to support your statement! This is misinformation and confuses the issues even more.

To those that have filed this attempt at a recall of the entire NVH Board, your actions are not helping to find working solutions and I for one will not vote in favor of such action. This is all a big distraction. So, if you are not just disgruntled ex-employees, perhaps you could use your alleged expertise in a positive manner via participating in the meetings that are ongoing and attempting to utilize the full potential of our hospital without sinking the whole ship.

I may get spoken to about this: but with tongue in cheek, if one looks at the various ages of the NVH board members it seems they also may soon be in need of AL type services – So why would they cut that program without good reason?

In closing, it seems that it is time to pull together as a community. The Hospital has healing work to do. This includes regularly communicating with the community. The community needs to stop working against itself in spite of the sad closing of the AL.

Michael Stewart